According to Obamacare non residents are exempt from mandatory health coverage.

Based on the Marketplace regulation:

Applicants for asylum are eligible for Marketplace coverage only if they’ve been granted employment authorization or are under the age of 14 and have had an application pending for at least 180 days.

So an asylum applicant with a work authorization is eligible to get a Marketplace coverage. That's pretty clear. But is that mandatory? Being eligible doesn't make it mandatory, does it?

Is an asylum seeker exempt from buying a health coverage?

VERY IMPORTANT: I'm asking about an asylum applicant with a pending case (not an approved asylee). So, if a person applied for asylum two years ago, and her case is still pending, then is she still exempt from the mandatory health care coverage pursuant to obama care act?

1 Answer 1


The healthcare insurance requirement is enforced via IRS, and the details are spelled out here. This means, since the documnt is written by the folks that write income tax instructions, that much patience is required to follow all of the conditions that they specify. There is an exemption in case the required coverage costs more than 8% of household income, or, income is below filing threshold. There are many entries in the chart of exemptions here. Potentially applicable would be the large box of residency-based considerations. Most apply to US citizens or permanent residents, but one clause applies to

A nonresident alien, including (1) a dual-status alien in the first year of U.S. residency and (2) a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who elects to file a joint return with a U.S. spouse;

The word "including" is significant, since it means nonresident aliens, and also dual-status aliens or those who file jointly with a US spouse. (That is, "including" does not mean "limited to just").

Just before that, there is also a provision exempting those

Not lawfully present in the U.S.and not a U.S. citizen, or U.S. national (for this purpose, an immigrant with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status is not considered lawfully present and therefore is eligible for this exemption)

so under any reasonable interpretation of the terms, an asylum applicant is either not lawfully here, or is and is a non-resident.

Also FYI I am not attempting to suggest what the person can or should do, I'm describing the general law, as I understand it, pertaining to the individual mandate. Call a lawyer for actual legal advice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.